"Peace ... Back By Popular Demand" finds Keb' Mo' covering nine classic protest and peace songs from the 1960s and early '70s, and what is immediately apparent is how well these songs translate forward into the current political milieu. This is an album where the songs themselves are the stars, and Keb' Mo' wisely takes a low-key and measured vocal approach to each of them, letting the messages take hold over light soul-jazz backings, with just enough funk in the horn charts to give the arrangements some push. It's hard to argue with the song selection, but as an interpreter, Mo' seldom makes any of these tracks his own, and behind each stands the ghostly but clear memory of the original version. Obviously Mo' isn't trying to top the Hit Parade with anything here, and his effort to bring these important songs into a new light is laudable. "Peace ... Back By Popular Demand" is not a major album, but it does have some major things to say, or re-say, in this case, and it serves as a reminder that every era could use (and deserves) some peace.
Keb’ Mo’: Peace … Back by Popular Demand
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